BUSINESS AND MARKETING: Business and Marketing Forum Business and Marketing Articles

Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard

COW Forums : Business & Marketing

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Patrick Ortman
Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:00:47 pm

Like most of you, I love my clients. I love making really cool videos, tv commercials, and so forth for them. And like most of you, every now and then I'm faced with a potential client who's just terrible. So terrible that they need to be outed. This is one of those stories. The names of people and such have been changed, of course. But a few of you here know exactly of whom I speak:

Initial touch: Potential client D. Bloehard contacts me, tells me he has $100K to produce some fitness videos for cats, from cat yoga to cat weight loss, on to cat ninja training. Bloehard wants to produce these videos using greenscreen. Tells me he loves my company's work, etc.

I review his specs, and start a dialog. It turns out that Bloehard actually wants 100 videos, each at 30-45 minutes in length. On DVDs for commercial release. Shot with multiple RED cameras. Now not on green screen, but in a practical, beautiful location that needs to be dressed as a high-end cat gym. And he wants these videos to look absolutely amazing- to compete with the most well-produced human workout videos out there.

I explain that Bloehard's budget isn't really doable, that he'd really need to start smaller, and suggest perhaps beginning with the cat yoga series of videos and DVDs. I suggest that perhaps Bloehard can use these videos to get additional investment in his cat workout course. Bloehard seems to like this idea.

So, Bloehard then copies our entire exchange, including not only information that's confidential to my firm but also my contact information, to a bunch of other production companies.

One of our fellow prodcos here in LA called me up and told me.

I confronted Bloehard, who swore up and down he didn't do such a thing.

A second fellow prodco contacted me telling me that, yes, in fact Bloehard had sent him all my info, too.

Bloehard then copped to the breech, but told me "it was a mistake, an accident" and that he didn't mean to do that.

I decided to give Bloehard another chance, and jumped back into the proposal process. I worked with Bloehard for a few hours, and then asked Bloehard if, perhaps, he should work with one of us directly to prepare a solid RFP that we could all use in our bids, to make things more apples to apples. Basically, his requirements were changing by the minute and that threw up some red flags to me. I then gave him a few areas and detailed thoughts on what should be included in the RFP.

Meanwhile, I got an email intended for another prodco. Yep, Bloehard was bcc'ing me on another guy's private conversation. I emailed the guy, a nice guy, and told him.

Bloehard then sent me a weird email giving me personal details about his life, who he was, what he'd done. I appreciated the gesture, as a Google and LinkedIn search revealed absolutely nothing about D. Bloehard (note to self, if a guy isn't findable online- run!). Turns out D. Bloehard had to change his name a few years back. And some digging on my end uncovered what appears to be the reason- some complaints from one of D. Bloehard's former clients, back when he was a kibbles and bits manager for high-kibble-wealth feline individuals.

Bloehard then sent everyone a vague email about how he demands a quality production.

After that, I received another message from Bloehard, asking me if I'd be willing to work for a deferred payment.

I did not reply.

I then received a final message from Bloehard. In it, he said his actual production budget for the 100 cat workout videos (on 25 DVDs) was $50,000. And that if any of us wanted to work with him we needed to defer payment until his cat workout video kingdom had recouped their initial investment or something stupid like that. He claimed that by deferring our payment, we weren't risking anything! It was a sure thing! Money in the bank!

I resisted the urge to write D. Bloehard back, and suggest that if his cat empire was such a sure thing, why doesn't he give me the deed to his house as collateral.

Once a grinder, always a grinder.

Because that's exactly what D. Bloehard is. A grinder. Well, and a liar. And someone I hope none of you are still working with. Kudos to my fellow prodcos who told me when he was acting badly. You guys rock.

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:43:04 pm

Sounds like you dodged a bullet. The worst part of grinders is maybe the time and creative energy or "wah" they take away from you, which is better spent on real clients. I get deeply engaged in any bid I create, and it's hard not to take it personally when someone does you dirty this way. But you have to just walk away from it and gift yourself to the next, better client with that much more devotion.

IMO, what the client did in taking your proposal info and handing it off to other competitors to bid, is very low-down bad ethics, but is not illegal. It's indeed rather common among government organizations and corporations, who tend to always approach creative work like it was a commodity that you can get cheaper wholesale from someone else... like pens, or tires, or office furniture.

Once you found out he did this, that was really all you needed to know about that guy to pull the stripey handle and bail out. I'm shocked you followed the roller coaster as far and long as you did.


Return to posts index

walter biscardi
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:53:38 pm

See, THIS is why I'm a dog person. I don't trust cat lovers........ :)

This story is so similar to the "See if you just help me out on this one project, I'll have a LOT of work for you coming up" kind of potential client. Glad you got out before any actual money or production time was put in.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

Blog Twitter Facebook


Return to posts index


Patrick Ortman
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 3:48:03 pm

Thanks, Walter! Yeah, more a dog guy here, too. The rare cool cat is fine, though.

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

Jeff Breuer
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:56:59 pm

Wow, sorry Patrick. But thanks for sharing the cautionary tale.

[walter biscardi] " See, THIS is why I'm a dog person. I don't trust cat lovers........ :)"

Bwahahahahaha!


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:33:15 pm

[Jeff Breuer] "Wow, sorry Patrick. But thanks for sharing the cautionary tale.

[walter biscardi] " See, THIS is why I'm a dog person. I don't trust cat lovers........ :)"

Bwahahahahaha!
"



Theoretically....(and with many massive exceptions)

The differences between cats and dogs show up when you stumble home drunk.

Dogs sense that you're miserable and are likely to lay down beside you on the floor and glance your way occasionally to see if you're still OK.

Cats will sashay up - and if you're unable or unwilling to pet them, they'll sniff the fumes, and walk away slightly miffed at your bad behavior.

On reflection, both those reactions seem to me to be perfectly reasonable.

This is pretty much the sum of my wisdom after many years producing videos for PetSmart.

That and if it's time to shoot a video on how to bathe a cat - bring a good supply of antiseptic to the set.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


Return to posts index


John Kaley
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:51:19 pm

[walter biscardi] "This story is so similar to the "See if you just help me out on this one project, I'll have a LOT of work for you coming up" kind of potential client."

The best way to test this common statement is to say, "The first project will be full price, if that leads to ongoing work, we'll talk about a volume discount on the other projects."

If that first project never happens, you've just saved yourself a bunch of time and money.


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 3:47:26 pm

You're right, of course, Mark. I was ready to, too, until I found myself turned into a real sucker when he apologized- he sounded very sincere and heartfelt.

Of course, sociopaths often do. :-)

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:35:40 pm

I have a similar funny story (which was not funny at the time). I met a new, possibly "big" client - also infomercials (now out of business). I wanted this "big" job, and I sent them an email STUPIDLY stating "this is where dealer XYZ gets their stuff, so you will will never beat these prices, because this is where they get their stuff from" - and they SEND MY EMAIL to dealer XYZ with the question "can you beat these prices ?".

Yes I was confronted by dealer XYZ, and it was very very embarassing. Grinders are always grinders, and as the expression goes - "no good dead goes unpunished".

Bob Zelin



Return to posts index


Dan Asselin
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 12, 2012 at 1:24:48 am

"no good DEAD goes unpunished"

I am presuming you meant DEED Bob.........But then.....


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 12, 2012 at 2:29:53 am

I like both!

Guys, thank you all for your support and advice, etc. You guys rule.

P

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

Nick Griffin
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:52:02 pm

[Patrick Ortman] "Of course, sociopaths often do. :-)"

Patrick -
That is such a stone-cold accurate statement. Sociopaths can be highly believable because they themselves often don't know that they are lying. All the more reason to embrace a service the hell out of the good clients.


Return to posts index


Patrick Ortman
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 16, 2012 at 5:50:38 pm

Absolutely, and I am incredibly grateful to my solid, cool clients. Always go the extra mile for those guys :-)

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

Steve Martin
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:05:46 pm

HI Patrick,

I feel your pain... we've seen these kinds of stories for years on the COW and it's good that you shared your experience to keep our radar tuned in to these bozos!

We're in the middle of a negotiation on what very well might be a "pie in the sky" production. So far, it's been lots of big ideas & talk. We're "scheduled" to begin production at the end of the month.

But the signed contract and pre-production deposit is due in the coming days. Let's just say that I'm hopeful but not confident!

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


Return to posts index

Afsheen Aziz
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 18, 2012 at 8:57:20 pm

pitiable :( really sad


Return to posts index


Kylee Peña
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 13, 2012 at 7:28:29 pm

I really want to be a part of this cat workout video empire...

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


Return to posts index

Patrick Ortman
Re: Anatomy of a Grinder Situation, D. Bloehard
on Jul 16, 2012 at 5:51:30 pm

I'm telling you, it'll be HUGE! There's so many fatcats...

I shoot people.
http://www.patrickortman.com


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]